Let’s begin this with a shout out to Lynne, who gave birth to me at age 27. The story of my birth is as thus: I was actually planned (whereas apparently my older brother was, to put it politely, “unexpected”). Mum and Dad were living in a big rambling 2-storey brick house in Mornington, given to them by Dad’s parents, because back then, houses cost 6 shillings and a tuppence or some shit. It was the last night of summer in that big old draughty house when Mum felt the familiar feeling of having pissed herself – evidence that Chelleshockk was on the way into this world. Dad went downstairs to get the car out of the garage, while Mum took it upon herself to walk down the concrete flight of stairs to meet the car, with me in her tummy and a barely 2 year-old Brad in her arms.
Because it was Dunedin in the 1980s, of course Mum fell down those harsh concrete stairs and landed on her tummy, while Brad went sprawling out of her arms onto the concrete below. Dad got her straight to Queen Mary hospital (which was the maternity joint back in those days) and Mum was rushed straight into the scanner to check that I was going to be okay. It’s always been a joke between myself and my parents that I was, indeed, dropped on my head as a baby.
Mum would often say that when she turned up to the hospital, her and Dad were given some Looks because she was preggo as fuck and both her and Brad were all scraped up and bleeding!
I was born ca. 6am the very next day – as Dunedin welcomed in the first Autumn of 1985, Chelleshockk was also thrust upon this once-safe, sleepy little town.
The point of this post is not to tell long winyarnin’ tales of my birth, it’s just that I’m really drunk and I like to write tales of wist and detail when I’m all fucked up. The original point of this post is to share with you some of the best advice that I have ever received from my beautiful mother, Lynette Anne Fitzgerald (nee Askerud). The idea came to me about 20 minutes ago while drunk in the shower washing my face, so here it is:
1. “Your face starts at your hairline and ends at your boobs, so when you cleanse/tone/moisturise, you should be covering that entire region.” When I was 12 years old, I was given a Johnson&Johnson Clean & Clear skincare pack (cleanser, toner and moisturiser) at Christmas and I have kept up some semblance of that routine ever since (except that I never take my makeup off before bed because I’m often too fucked up to bother).
2. “Girls can do anything that boys can do (except pee standing up)!”
Well I beg to differ on the “peeing standing up” thing Lynne, but otherwise, I’m happy about this advice.
3. “We don’t care how well you do as long as you always try your best.” While I’m sure literally every decent parent has at one point said this to their kids, it’s nonetheless an important and popular turn-of-phrase for a reason. Unfortunately for me, I was actually capable of great things if I tried my best, and I quit doing that after intermediate school – so I can understand my mum’s disappointment when I didn’t “apply myself” in high school. However, her advice has stuck with me and I have adapted it to align with my current ideals – if you do your best and your intentions come from a good place, then nothing and nobody can ever truly diss you with reason. Remember that; it’s a great code of conduct to live by.
4. “You’ve gotta put your body on the line for the ball.”
Mum played soccer and also coached my older brother’s junior league soccer teams. I ended up playing soccer in my high school years, even though I was straight, and I always remember my mum coaching both my brother and I in the backyard with our soccer skills. Lynne was really adamant that you need to put your body on the line for the ball as a goalkeeper (Brad was the goalie for Otago and I was also goalie for some of my soccer years) because she knew the score. This translates to anything in life really, and echoes some of the common ideas floating around: If you want something bad enough, you put everything on the line to achieve it. No pain, no gain. A small sacrifice for a large goal is worth it, etc. Good shit, cheers Mum!
5. “Save Every Cent”.
OK, while she didn’t actually say this exact line, saving money was definitely Mum’s bae. Thank god it was, though, otherwise Brad and I would never have been given all the opportunities to play any sports we wanted, nor been taken on multiple incredible family holidays! So although saving is boring, I can’t fault Mum for wandering around Pak’n’Save with a pencil stub and grocery list, carefully adding up all the items in the cart to ensure she remained within her budget. Although I didn’t learn the lesson of budgeting until much later in life, Mum was the one who laid the foundations of this incredibly valuable mindset for me!
6. “Thou shalt lift every weight and wear all the white eyeshadow that thou can get thy hands on”.
Cheers for everything Mum!
Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxox